Although ‘flipping the classroom’ is a phrase that has become popular in the last couple of years, the notion of using technology to give students access to key resources / teacher input before classes and then spending lesson time being the ‘guide by the side’ rather than the ‘sage on the stage’ has grown in popularity over the last decade.
The general approach is – in my opinion – as old as the hills. I have awful 30-year-old memories of my A-level history teacher giving us 30 pages of the text book to read for homework that ‘we’re going to discuss tomorrow…’ . The difference now is the way that technology has stepped into the ‘pre-reading’ hole… and also given us additional ways to manage students’ responses.
In their presentation “The Classroom Flip” (2006), authors Mike Tenneson and Bob McGlasson demonstrate which choices teachers should make when considering flipping their classrooms. They challenge teachers to focus on what they most want to change in their classrooms, and the presentation helps to determine how flipping using different mechanisms can enhance the teaching process for that individual.
The technology that enables ‘flipping’ is mostly video-based presentations, though sound-only podcasts would also do the job. Although many practitioners make use of freely-available web-based resources, there is no reason why commercially-available and distributed resources should not also be used… or even why we shouldn’t make our own… more of that later…
One source of video-based instruction that has been highly celebrated is the Khan Academy, attracting the attention of TED, billionaire benefactors and also UK politicians! But Khan isn’t the only source.
So how can Kite help?
You know that Kite enables you to allocate learning resources to a period on the timetable. The first step is to build a Kite lesson that includes your source video. This lesson is then allocated to the timetable slot that your students are preparing for using Kite’s simple ‘drag-and-drop’ interface (in my opinion one of its truly winning features!)
Using Khan Academy Videos: These are best included in an embedded webpages block (though there is also a Khan Academy YouTube channel)
Embedded web page in Kite, with class comments enabled.
Youtube videos: Use the Video block and simply add the Youtube url in the box as you would normally do.
Using videos stored on your school network: Here you can add the resource from the Resource Block Note: unless you choose an image size/quality which could impede learning, these could be very large files.
Add resource blocks in Kite, quickly & easily.
Using videos via a streaming service such as Clickview or Clipbank: paste a link to the relevant resource in a text box (single sign-on provision should mean that students don’t need an additional password for this option).
Have your students watched the clip and thought about it?
You could check this by getting students to use the comments facility associated with any Kite lesson. This will collect in the comments in that lesson slot – which will make it easy to review for the teacher and to have available in the future, but you would need to do your own physical count to check all had responded.
One option I’ve seen for getting simple comment feedback is a link to a Wallwisher (now known as padlet.com) resource, which enables students to post electronic ‘post-its’ on a wall.
Wallwisher wall posts.
Another alternative is including a link (or be fancy and make it a QR code…) to a Socrative Quiz or other online ‘quiz’ resource which include self-marking.
Socrative quiz creator.
You could use the TestBuilder within the Assignment feature of Kite. One advantage of this is that you can more easily keep a track of those who respond via the submissions page, and also there are the inbuilt teacher comment options and ‘self-marking’ feature. Or take advantage of the imminent Kite 10.4 which has introduced quizzes, tests and surveys as a ‘stand-alone’ feature.
Kite’s very own intuitive quiz builder.
Require them to contribute to a Google Doc included on the same Kite page using the Google Docs block option. Google documents are becoming increasingly popular within Kite and offer great potential both for collaborative learning and online document creation.
Kite fully integrates with Google, promoting collaboration.
The Flipped Classroom is an idea which sounds a bit strange but is really an extension of tried and tested methods that as teachers we all know can work very successfully. If educational technology and Kite can make it more possible/assessable/monitorable then great!